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AVS Speakers Bureau

Featuring Great Vegan Speakers across America.
Need a speaker for your VegFest or other event? Please contact the speakers directly for more information and scheduling.

Rebecca Aslam, MS, RD, LDN (MA)

Rebecca Aslam is a registered dietitian working at a large teaching hospital, primarily with patients with cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. She is a nutrition advisor to the American Vegan Society, a lifelong vegan, and fourth- generation vegetarian. She loves experimenting with vegan cooking and enjoys working with individuals or speaking to groups of all sizes.

Sample Talks: Plant-Based Nutrition Basics; Plant-Based Diets for the Treatment of Chronic Diseases Such as Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular, etc.; Transitioning to a Vegan Diet; Be Healthy and Happy on a Vegan Diet

Contact: 617-308-7488 or email

“Growing up vegan drew me to an interest in nutrition, and I became a registered dietitian hoping to help people be healthy and successful on plant-based diets. I believe in the power of plant-based diets to prevent and treat chronic diseases and am grateful to be able to spread the message.”

 Steve Blake, ScD (HI)


Steve Blake lectures widely about the role of nutrition in health. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and has a doctorate in nutritional biochemistry. Dr. Blake is nutritional biochemist for Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience, where he has authored a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. He is the author of the college textbook Vitamins and Minerals Demystified and the dietary analysis software, the Diet Doctor. Dr. Blake is the Maui director for the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. drsteveblake.com

Sample Talks: A Nutritional Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease; Arthritis, a Natural Approach; How to Overcome Diabetes; Defensive Medicine; Comparing the Nutrition in Popular Diets; Healthy Hearts: How Not to Get a Heart Attack Contact: 808-280-6865 or email

“It is my honor to teach how vegan food promotes health and fights disease. Thank you, Freya Dinshah and the American Vegan Society for your good work and great bookstore.”

Sherry F. Colb (NY)


Sherry Colb is a Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell Law School. She received her A.B. from Columbia College (valedictorian) and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She publishes a bi-weekly column on Verdict.Justia.com which often takes up issues of veganism and animal rights. Her latest book is Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans.

Sample Talks: Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? How to Respond to the Confrontational Questions People Ask Vegans; Do Vegans Experience Stereotype Threat?; Should Animal Rights Start With Dogs?

Contact: email 607-323-1292

“I feel honored and humbled by the opportunity to talk to people about veganism and animal rights. Becoming vegan and embracing the community of human and nonhuman animals represented a fundamental shift in my life and way of being in the world. Sharing my story with others is a joy!”

Fran Costigan (NY)


Fran Costigan is a culinary instructor, innovative vegan pastry chef, and the author of three cookbooks. A graduate of the New York Restaurant School and Natural Gourmet Institute, Fran was a pastry chef first in traditional and later in vegan restaurant kitchens before moving into teaching. Fran teaches her distinctive classes (including her Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®) in NYC at the Institute of Culinary Education and the Natural Gourmet Institute. She presents cooking demonstrations and workshops at events throughout North America and Europe. francostigan.com

Sample Talks: Creating Vegan Cooking Classes That Sell (to Everyone); The Dessert Dilemma: Can You Eat a Healthy Plant-Based Diet and Have Dessert Too?

Contact: email

“I’m honored and delighted to be part of AVS Speakers Bureau. Since its beginning in 1960, AVS has played a critical role in educating the public about the ethical and health benefits of following a vegan lifestyle.”

Anne Dinshah (NY)


Anne Dinshah is a rowing coach, lifelong vegan, third-generation vegetarian, mom to vegan son Clint, and author of Dating Vegans and Healthy Hearty Helpings. She coauthored with her mother Freya Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake. Her newest book is Powerful Vegan Messages, coauthored with her late father Jay. Anne credits Freya for instilling in her a love of cooking and Jay for a love of speaking to large audiences.americanvegan.org

Sample Talks: Dynamic Harmlessness for Today's World; Learn to Cook and Eat Well; Be Social Be Healthy Be Vegan; Please Everyone with Vegan Recipes; cooking demos; and exercise.

Contact: 856-694-2887 email

“Remember who you were before you became vegan. Weren’t you a kind, compassionate person deserving of being loved? Give someone else the opportunity to learn! Share powerful vegan messages with the next generation and the world will rapidly improve.”

Freya Dinshah (NJ)


Freya Dinshah is coauthor of the new book Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook. She has been a key organizer for local and national events to encourage compassionate, healthful living. Freya has taught cooking classes to people of all ages for over forty years. She is a lifetime vegetarian and vegan for fifty-four years. She serves as nutrition educator and teaches basic cooking skills to children ages three to eighteen at after-school programs in southern NJ. She is president of AVS, editor of American Vegan, and author of The Vegan Kitchen, the first US cookbook with vegan in its title. americanvegan.org.

Sample Talks: Discovering Veganism; Vegan Fine Dining; Quality Time—Cooking with Kids

Contact: 856-694-2887

“The vegan light is getting brighter every day and shining further. Ahimsa is powerful enough to light the entire world.”

Michael C. Dorf (NY)

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Michael C. Dorf is Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he is the author of four books and numerous articles on law and its relation to social change. As a vegan activist, he applies the lessons he has learned from studying other justice movements.

Sample Talks: How Activists Create Change; Winning by Losing and Winning by Winning; Animal Rights and Legal Rights; Speaking Up for Vegan Kids.

Contact: 607-323-1492 or email

“I was trained as a lawyer to give voice to the interests, people who could not represent themselves. As a vegan, I try to respect the interests of all beings.”

JoAnn Farb (KS)

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JoAnn Farb is the author of two books, Compassionate Souls: Raising the Next Generation to Change the World, and Get Off Gluten. She is a former microbiologist with a large pharmaceutical corporation, who now teaches cooking classes and nutrition education in Kansas. Her keynote presentation, What Really Matters, is a mind and heart opening journey for all audiences, designed to connect social justice and environmental sustainability with health. CompassionateSouls.com and Getoffgluten.blogspot.com

Sample Talks: What Really Matters; From Pharmaceutical Rep to Vegan Activist; Raising Healthy Compassionate Children; Why Gluten is Important for Vegans to Understand; How to Go Vegan

Contact: www.joannfarb.com/

“Veganism is a powerful tool for addressing the fundamental challenge, from which all our problems spring: We humans have the capacity of being desensitized to specific injustices our culture teaches us to ignore. Those of us who have made the connection, have the responsibility to connect social justice with environmental sustainability and health for others.”

Michael Klaper, MD (CA & HI)

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Michael Klaper, MD is a practicing physician and consultant with over forty years of experience in general practice and acute-care medicine. He is trained in surgery, anesthesiology, orthopedics, and obstetrics. Dr. Klaper believes strongly that proper nutrition and a balanced lifestyle are essential for health. He is the author of several books and videos on vegan nutrition and serves on the staff of True North Health Center, Santa Rosa CA. doctorklaper.com

Sample Talks: Nutritional Health and Healing; From the Operating Room to the Dining Room; Eating as If the Earth Mattered; Avoiding Pitfalls in Vegan Nutrition; Smart Food Choices for the 21st Century; Food for the Spiritual Journey

Contact: email

“AVS’ work promulgating the vegan ideal is increasingly important as it offers the only real solution to our ever-more-pressing problems of world hunger and environmental destruction.”

Vance Lehmkuhl (PA)

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Vance Lehmkuhl (PA) is the vegan columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, writing the food column V for Veg (since 2011) and the philly.com blog V for Vegan (since 2013). He's known for his audience-participation cartoon “Drawalong” and for his eco-conscious pop band Green Beings. He is the creator and host of Vegcast (vegcast.com), one of the first vegan podcasts, with more than a hundred interviews still free online. Philly.com/vforveg

Sample Talks: New-Vegan Answers to Others’ Common Questions; Drawing Out Your Inner Vegan (Drawalong); The Vegan Answer to Climate Change; To Buy or Not To Buy? Targeting Your Vegan Dollars

Contact: email

“Get out there and live like you mean it!"

Linda Long (NY)

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Linda Long has had a lifelong relationship with food and hospitality and has been a committed vegan for more than half of her life. Trained as a home economist, she has had a varied career in the academic, corporate, and media communities, with an emphasis in fashion, food, and nutritional topics. She authored/photographed Great Chefs Cook Vegan and Virgin Vegan. She is host/NYC producer for Vegan Hotspot, web-based TV show by Delicious TV that spotlights vegan restaurants in New York City. Linda gave the first talk on a vegan subject at James Beard House. lindalong.com, virginvegan.com

Sample Talks: Why Be Vegan? Shoot Better Food Shots; Are You a Virgin Vegan? Why No Dairy? How the Great Chefs Cook Vegan!

Contact:212-721-1113, 917-373-0399 or email

“I am thrilled to be part of the AVS Speakers Bureau. It is tremendous pleasure to look into an audience and see faces and minds that are eager to know more about a plant-based lifestyle.”

Dale Lugenbehl (OR)

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Dale Lugenbehl is a writer and has taught college philosophy classes for more than thirty years. He has also served as co-director of Ahimsa Acres Educational Center since 1995. Dale’s areas of interest include the ethics of personal food choices, voluntary simplicity/low-consumption living, environmentally-conscious home-food production, understanding the processes of personal and societal change, and engaged Buddhism. ahimsaacres.org

Sample Talks: Environmental Impact of Personal Food Choices; Widening Our Circle of Compassion to Include All Species; Ethical Components of Choosing a Vegan Lifestyle; Making the Change to Vegan Eating; What the Buddha Really Taught about Eating Meat

Contact: email

“I am interested in helping all of us to see that we have more choices than we think we have and to see the ways we are unknowingly causing suffering for ourselves and others.”

Andy Mars, PhD (CA)

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Andy Mars, PhD is a visionary leader in education. He directs totally vegan camps and a vegan K-12 school. Andy is Rabbi of Bnai Tov vegan synagogue, director of Veg Kids and the Kids Make a Difference Foundation. His mission is: “Helping make a difference in the lives of kids; helping kids make a difference in life.” veganday.info vegkids.org    vegancamp.org    vejewtarian.org

Sample Talks: Raising Veg Kids; Empowering Kids to Make a Difference; How a Vegan Diet Can Help Kids Better Focus & Function; The Ten Commandments to Better Health; Veganism: A Jewish Ideal

Contact: email

“When I became vegan, I did not even yet know that there was a word for those conscious beliefs that resonated so deeply in my soul. When I came across AVS, I was delighted to find out that there were others who believed as I did, a national organization to help vegans connect and promote veganism throughout the country.”

Vesanto Melina, MS, RD (BC Canada)

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Vesanto Melina, MS, RD is coauthor of 10 books on nutrition, foods, and disease prevention. Her latest book (with Brenda Davis), Becoming Vegan: Express Edition, was given star rating by the American Library Association as the “go-to book” on vegan nutrition. She has taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and at Seattle’s Bastyr University. nutrispeak.com

Sample Talks: Update on Vegetarian, Vegan, and Raw Food Nutrition; Veg. Nutrition for Superb Health; Staying Healthy: Plant-based Diets to Protect against Chronic Disease; Raw Food Diets; Surviving and Thriving Despite Food Allergies

Contact: 604-882-6782 or email

“A long-term vegan myself, I enjoy speaking to groups of health professionals and to vegetarian, vegan, and raw associations, with a view to helping people create an optimal diet and find solutions for key issues.”

Victoria Moran (NY)

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Victoria Moran is a vegan of thirty years and the Oprah-featured author of eleven books including her latest, Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World. Victoria hosts the weekly Main Street Vegan show on Unity.fm, and she is the founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy training and certifying vegan lifestyle coaches. mainstreetvegan.net

Sample Talks: Main Street Vegan: Eating Green & Loving Life in the Real World; The Look Great, Feel Amazing, Change the World Lifestyle

Contact: 212-289-1808 or email

“It’s a real gift that I'm able to devote my life to sharing the vegan message, and there’s no better organization to be associated with than the American Vegan Society. AVS was the sole source of vegan information in this country for many years, and all of us who've come along later are simply continuing the revolutionary work begun by Jay and Freya Dinshah in 1960.”

John Morlino (MD)

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John Morlino is a former social worker who founded The Essence of True Humanity Is Compassion (The ETHIC) to help create a world where all beings live free from violence and oppression. His work promoting both human and animal liberation has been published worldwide, and he’s been a featured speaker at Vegetarian Summerfest and the Animal Rights National Conference.

Sample Talks: Compassion Is a Journey Not a Destination; The Essence of True Humanity Is Compassion; Putting Animal Rights Back into the Animal Rights Movement

Contact: via website the-ethic.org

“I’m happy to be part of the American Vegan Society’s speakers bureau, as few organizations embody the principles of Ahimsa as well as AVS does.”

 John Pierre (CO)

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John Pierre is a nutrition and fitness consultant, famous as a personal trainer to celebrities, rock stars, and Fortune 500 CEOs. His book, The Pillars of Health: Your Foundations for Lifelong Wellness, explains four principles: real food, mind stimulation, physical movement, and spiritual philosophy. johnpierre.com

Sample Talks: Fine-tuning the Vegan Diet; The Power of a Plant-Based Diet; Veganism−More than a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

Contact: email

“I greatly admire AVS because of their commitment to the principles of ahimsa and compassion. I deeply appreciate their dedication to help educate everyone about the importance of embracing a lifestyle based on sustainable and ethical dietary choices.”

Brenda Sanders (MD)

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Brenda Sanders serves as one of the directors of Open the Cages Alliance, an animal advocacy organization for which she organizes a vegan education program, animal rights demonstrations, and family-friendly events promoting the vegan lifestyle including Vegan SoulFest in Baltimore. She’s also the executive director of Better Health, Better Life, a community-health organization for which she conducts lectures, workshops, healthy-living classes, and food demos.

Sample Talks: Making the Connection: Veganism and Social Justice; Why the World Can't Wait for You to Go Vegan; Veganism: A Diet, Philosophy or Ethical Choice?

Contact: 443-219-7971 or email

“I dedicated my life to doing vegan outreach once I realized how many of the world's most pressing problems this lifestyle can help to address. I am honored to help to spread this knowledge as a member of the AVS Speakers Bureau.”

Kerrie Saunders, MS, LLP, PhD (MI)

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Kerrie Saunders, MS, LLP, PhD is the author of The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention. She costarred with John Pierre in the food demo DVDs When Bachelor Meets Homemaker. She began her career as a master’s level psychologist and earned her doctorate in natural health. Her current interests include how foods affect neurotransmitters and in nutrigenomics. drfood.org

Sample Talks: Using Food & Fitness to Fight Osteoporosis/Cancer/Diabetes; Diet as Disease Prevention; Cravings & Food Addiction; Lifestyle Medicine, Body Composition & Nutritional Excellence; Advanced Issues in Nutrition for Vegetarians; The Transition Kitchen: Going from 0 to Veg in One Day

Contact: 248-808-3601 or email

“It is truly an honor to help AVS promote the lifestyle that helps me feel so healthy and vibrant, while respecting the lives of other humans and animals and the planet.”

Miyoko Schinner (CA)

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Miyoko Schinner (CA) is a chef and entrepreneur promoting delicious, decadent, and healthful plant-based foods for thirty years. She is the founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen, a leading maker of artisan vegan cheese. She is cohost of Vegan Mashup, a television show seen on PBS. Her bestselling cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, helped many people transition to veganism. The Homemade Vegan Pantry will be released in 2015. artisanveganlife.com, miyokoskitchen.com

Sample Talks: How to Get Dairy Out of Your Diet; Get Flavor into Your Diet and Junk Food Out; Yes, You Can Have Your Cheese and Eat It Too!

Contact: emailinfo@miyokoskitchen.com

“My goal is to put artistry into the vegan lifestyle by creating beautiful food that doesn’t harm animals, the planet, or your health, and carry this message to as many people as possible.”

Rae Sikora (NM)

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Rae Sikora has been vegan and a full-time spokesperson for other species for over thirty years. She is cofounder of Plant Peace Daily, Vegfund, and the Institute for Humane Education. Rae leads compassionate living and ethical consumerism programs for diverse audiences ranging from schools and prisons to businesses and universities. Her work takes her from the U.S. to the Middle East and Central America. plantpeacedaily.org

Sample Talks: Human Billboards; Vegan Is NOT a Diet; Despair Repair; Under One Roof; Clever Cows and Einstein Squid; Joyfully Vegucating Your Community

Contact: 248-219-3991 or email

“We are all powerful co-creators of the world we would like to live in. By making choices that align with our values and encouraging others to do the same, we get a little closer to that vision every day.”

Kevin Storm (NJ)

Coming Soon

Will Tuttle, PhD (CA)

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Will Tuttle, PhD is an author, educator, pianist, and composer. Author of The World Peace Diet, a former Zen monk, a dharma master in the Korean Zen tradition, and thirty-year vegan, he is devoted to cultural healing and awakening and has seven CD albums of original piano music. worldpeacediet.org

Sample Talks: The World Peace Diet; Creating a New Culture of Peace; Being Healthy & Saving the Planet; Heart Teachings on the Dharma Path; Keys to Effective Vegan Advocacy; Metaphysics of Food; Vegan Living & World Peace

Contact: 800-697-6614 or email

“I’m grateful for the pioneering work of AVS and delighted to share the same mission of bringing the healing and empowering vegan message of compassion for all living beings to our world. Making an effort to learn how to thrive as vegans in a not-yet vegan world, and to be effective advocates for vegan living, is the most benevolent action we can take today!”

Mark Wendt, MS, LPC (MN)

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Mark Wendt, MS, LPC ,(MN) is a college counselor and coach with expertise in health and sports psychology. Mark developed DINOCARDS, the How You Do That career education series, and coauthored Get Graduated. Mark’s focus on health began in 2000 when he and other members of his family were suffering from obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease; they decided to choose a healthier lifestyle. Mark subsequently lost 30 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by 200 points. He became a barefoot runner and is currently working to complete a marathon in every state. getwaisted.com

Sample Talks: The Vegan Runner; Using Nutrition to Enhance Student Performance; The Athlete and the Doctor

Contact: 715-862-0419 or email

“Becoming vegan saved my life, and opened up a whole new world. It’s an honor to share this message with others through AVS.”

Mary R (Clifton) Wendt, MD (MN)

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Mary R (Clifton) Wendt, MD practices internal medicine in Duluth. Seven years ago, she cured herself of prediabetes and lowered her cholesterol with simple diet changes. Since then she’s helped thousands of others get healthy and strong by changing their diet. Dr. Mary is coauthor of the bestselling book Waist Away and companion cookbook Get Waisted. She cofounded a healthy weight-loss program. getwaisted.com

Sample Talks: Antioxidants and Your Food; Bulletproof: Protecting Yourself from Chronic Disease with Diet; How to Lose Weight Joyfully and Supercharge Your Life

Contact: 231-342-6132 or email

"What we do, what we say, and what we write connects us to the environment and beings around us. Don’t underestimate the value of everyday decisions you make. By helping you change your diet choices to reflect your spiritual values, we can work together not only to give you optimal health but also to change the world.”